You want to set up your blog and serve netizens with the knowledge you have gained over the years. It could be your hobby, passion, interest, fear or something topic that you know will be able to help a great bunch of people.
May be your goal is to monetize the blog. Or just reach out to as many people and help them do something better with the knowledge you share on your blog.
Great! You have the noble intentions.
All you need now is the right vehicle.
A blog that converts.
Types of blogs
Seth Godin writes about 3 types of blogs –
- Personal blogging – more of a personal diary. Mostly visited by family and friends.
- CEO/Corporate blogging – specifically written for a group of people with-in a certain context.
- Viral blogging – written for the world. Could be about general topics such as technology, healthcare, wellness or niche topics such as Yoga for pregnant women, how to take are of nails, and so on.
Here are some stats about blogging –
- Out of close to 7.4 billion population of the world, about 2.5 billion (about 34%) are internet users
- About 175,000 new blogs are published every day. That’s about a blog every half a second.
- About 14% of bloggers earn money through their blogs (even a dollar from Google Adsense counts).
- Some blogs such as The Huffington Post earn as much as $2.3 million each month. Few thousands per month is a decent earning.
But don’t let these stats discourage you. Having the right infrastructure and smart blogging practices (right content, SEO, ad placement and affiliate products) you can earn above average monthly income. And with practice and optimization (ads, affiliate products and/or your own) you can earn much more.
Know that this is practically passive income, which means once you have set the blog in motion you spend only few hours a week to keep it going.
Monetizing your blog
Some of the ways to make money through blogging is –
- Advertising banners (or private ads, if your blog has gained authority)
- CPM (cost per million) – get paid based on number of advertisements shown
- CPA (cost per action) – get paid based on number of advertisements clicked by readers
- Affiliate sales – users buy products that you recommend through your site
If monetizing blog is your goal, you could do that by placing Google ads on your blog, or by selling private ad space, or by offering affiliate products, or creating your own products, or many other means (write to me if you need some coaching on these methods).
Whatever is your goal behind the blog, you need to reach many many people out there. More the merrier.
Or in other words you need to generate traffic to your blog. Lots of it.
For that you need your blog to be loved by Google bots.
Bots crawl internet going through all the web pages and index them for keywords. In other words they give a ranking to each page based on several parameters (which keep changing by the way). This is done for Millions of web pages. When someone searches for a specific keywords, Google serves corresponding pages to the user.
Search for a favorite topic of yours in Google and see how many pages you get (it’s the number below search box). Chances are Google returns few hundred thousand pages to few million pages.
And you get to see 10 results per page. How many times have you gone beyond the first page of Google results? And how many pages – second, third, fourth? Beyond? “Rarely” is the likely answer.
That is what people searching in Google do. Very few go beyond the first page.
Now, it must be clear that if your blog post is not discovered on Google’s first page, well your blogging efforts may not bring expected results.
According to StatCounter Global Stats Reports here’s how your site gets traffic from search engines –
- Google sends 90.62% of traffic
- Yahoo! sends 3.78% of traffic
- Bing sends 3.72% of traffic
- Ask Jeeves sends .36% of traffic
- Baidu sends .35% of traffic
So, it is important to make search engines (especially, Google) happy with your content in order to be able to reach out to more people through your blog.
CTR or Click Through Rate
CTR, or Click Through Rate indicates how many people click on the search results and land on a web page. This is calculated (for mathematician in you) as number of clicks out of number of impressions. If your page appeared in first position of search results page 10 times for a certain keyword, and it was clicked 4 times your CTR would be 40%.
What would you think be the CTR for very first Google search result?
A mere 36.4%. Even if you manage to be on the first page of results, an average CTR you’d get is 8.9%. But even this ‘lesser’ percentage means a lot of traffic to your site.
Following are the results of a research conducted by Optify. Images courtesy: http://searchenginewatch.com
First 20 search results get the following CTR. Optify concludes that moving up to the top spot in Google from second or third could increase traffic to your website 3-4 times!
Now that we have seen how important it is to be on the first page of Google search results, let us see how to get on the first page of Google results, or in short SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Write in a way that Search Engines love
Don’t get this wrong.
It is very essential that you write for your human readers, but in order to get your page in front of those human readers you need to write in a way that Search Engines love it.
This is where 97% of people make the fatal mistake – they either write for humans only (this is mostly the case) or bots only (in this case if someone lands on the page she may leave the page in a flash).
SEO, or search engine optimization is the science of writing your high value content in a way that appeals to search engines (Google bots/crawlers) as well as people who are looking for information.
As you can see Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very essential basic step for your blog. A 100% search-engine optimized blog can get you 284% more people than non-search engine optimized content. This is irrespective of how good (or bad) is the actual content – which decides how long people are going to stay on the page. You can see that although your blog content is great, you need to optimize your blog as well as blog content for search-engines to get most out of your blogging efforts.
There are two types of SEO practice – On-page SEO and Offline SEO.
As the name suggests this is all about what and how you write your post.
Some of the practices are –
- Find right keywords and include them in the right places in the blog such as title, meta description, h1 tags, alternate text of blog image
- Human-readable URL structure
- Sitemaps that search engines can use to understand structure of your site/blog
- Keyword density in the blog
- Internal linking between pages, and so on.
Again, as the name suggests this happens outside of your site.
Some practices are –
- Having backlinks from high ranked sites
- Deep linking (from multiple external pages to multiple internal pages)
- Social bookmarking
- Article marketing
- Guest posting, and so on
There are many other factors that makes for success of a profitable blog, apart from SEO. We shall see them in later posts.
Here’s an excellent source of SEO – The Periodic Table Of SEO by SearchEngineLand:
With the latest development in blogging services, supporting services, social media integration and some smart blogging practices it is very much possible to earn a good living from blogging. This gives you the time and location freedom, financial independence and a chance to work in the field you love, to lead a happy and content life. Moreover, blogging could be just beginning of your successful online business.
TheSmartOnlineBusiness.com makes it ridiculously easy for you to start your own blog on the perfectly optimized blogging infrastructure in a matter of days. If you have a hobby, interest, or passionate about something, or have fear – you can build a blog around the topic and provide value to thousands of people out there interested in same topics, integrate advertisements, integrate affiliate offers, eBay products and implement many more strategies to earn a decent income.
Anyone with a good start and a bit of dedication – few hrs of effort per day – can start a profitable blog on the sidelines (along with day-job) and start earning additional income.
To your success,